Thinking about proposing? Before you get down on one knee, read these dos and don'ts of proposing.
Do Talk about Marriage
Before you propose, talk about the possibility of getting married. Make sure it's something that you both want, and agree on major issues such as children. Here's a helpful article from the marriage guides at About.com
Do Make it a Surprise
Even though you have discussed marriage, the proposal itself should still be a surprise. Find a moment and a way that she won't be suspecting.
Do Find The Right Engagement Ring
Since wearing an engagement ring is a lifetime committment, make sure it's the right style. You might find an opportunity to window shop for rings when you are walking past a store, or bring it up in converstion.
You can also ask her mother or best friend to help choose the ring. Read this article about engagement rings before shopping.
Do Know if She Wants to Pick the Engagement Ring
Most brides want their proposal to include an engagement ring, but others are very particular about their jewelry, and want to be part of the buying/designing process.
Do Talk to Her Parents
We've come a long way from when women were property who needed their father's permission, yet, there is still something nice and respectful about asking for the parents' blessing.
Do Pick a Personal Spot
Think about your favorite romantic places -- choose a meaningful spot to pop the question. It could be as simple as in your living room, or as complicated as whisking her away for a weekend in Paris. Just don't ask her in a supermarket aisle!
Do Be Creative
Incorporate your personality, favorite things, foods etc. into the proposal. Make it memorable rather than a cookie cutter proposal.
Do Drop to One Knee
It's not 1950, but there is something so charming and romantic about a man on one knee asking the love of his life to marry him. Even if you're not a traditional guy, it will add to the seriousness and lovingness of the proposal.
Do Tell Her Why You Want to Marry Her
Don't just utter those 4 little words, tell her why she's the one for you, what marriage means to you, and what your hopes for the future are. You might say something like "My life has never and could never be the same after I met you. You've made me more joyful, more stable, and more inspired. I can't picture the rest of my life without you by my side. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?"
Do Share the News
Take a moment to reflect on your engagement, but bring along a cell phone or calling card for sharing the good news.
Don't Make it Public
If script-writers are to be believed, every wedding proposal takes place in front of a thousand people. But unless she's said she wants a splashy proposal, make it intimate and personal thing. Most brides would prefer to have that magical moment be just the two of you – after all, you've got the rest of your lives to tell other people about your marriage but you've only got one engagement moment.
Don't Hide the Engagement Ring in Food
I hate to say it, (as I'm sure there are some readers who were planning to do just this) but hiding the engagement ring in food is a tired idea. It's been in a thousand movies and TV shows, and you won't win any points for creativity. Even worse, you may end your romantic proposal with a trip to the emergency room or the dentist.
Don't Propose at a Sports Game
Games are loud and chaotic events. Even if she is the biggest sports fan you ever knew, the arena doesn't allow you to have any of the reflection and focus that making such a momentous decision deserves.
Don't Do it in Front of Her Family
While your families will merge with your wedding, it is not